Rent Shop Volunteer Join

Q. Who is Mr. Smarty Plants?

A: There are those who suspect Wildflower Center volunteers are the culpable and capable culprits. Yet, others think staff members play some, albeit small, role. You can torture us with your plant questions, but we will never reveal the Green Guru's secret identity.

Help us grow by giving to the Plant Database Fund or by becoming a member

Did you know you can access the Native Plant Information Network with your web-enabled smartphone?

Share

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants

Ask Mr. Smarty Plants is a free service provided by the staff and volunteers at the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center.

Search Smarty Plants
See a list of all Smarty Plants questions

Please forgive us, but Mr. Smarty Plants has been overwhelmed by a flood of mail and must take a break for awhile to catch up. We hope to be accepting new questions again soon. Thank you!

Need help with plant identification, visit the plant identification page.

 
rate this answer
Not Yet Rated

Friday - September 03, 2010

From: Rosenberg, TX
Region: Southwest
Topic: Trees
Title: How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree in Rosenberg, TX?
Answered by: Jimmy Mills

QUESTION:

How can I tell the age of a Pecan tree? I live on the Brazos River and have a lot of large Pecan trees but the largest is approx. 11 ft. around.

ANSWER:

The answer depends on how precise you want to be. The most accurate method would be to cut down the tree and count the growth rings. That sounds a little drastic, so I will give you a couple of alternatives

This link suggests that there is a good correlation between the circumference of the tree and its age (circumference in inches equals age in years), and its easy enough to measure the circumference of the tree. Or this link suggests a similar correlation between the diameter of the tree and its age. You'll have to use some math skills to determine the diameter  ( d = C/pi).

The third method invovles extracting a core sample from the trunk of the tree using an increment borer. This technique is commonly used by foresters as a management tool in forests. You of course would need to have an increment borer and some expertise in using it and in handling and analyzing the core once it is obtained.

I've included links to the University of Tennesee and Auburn University for extensive descriptions on the use of an increment borer.

If you choose to go the increment borer route, the folks at the Fort Bend county office of the Texas AgriLife Extension Service or the Houston office of the Texas Forest Service may be able to help.

 

More Trees Questions

Correction of tree name from Bay Point CA
October 16, 2013 - The tree should of been Mulberry don't know how it was changed!! Tuesday - October 15, 2013 From: Bay Point, CA Region: California Topic: Non-Natives, Cacti and Succulents, Trees Title: Non-...
view the full question and answer

Planting a Willow Close to a Water Line
March 18, 2016 - I have a postage stamp-sized front yard, with the water tap in the front 1/3. I believe the water line runs right through the middle of my pss-front yard. I REALLY wanted to plant a weeping willow t...
view the full question and answer

Red oak leaves have a swelling along the veins
June 17, 2015 - I have red oaks in my back yard, approx 30 or more have a disease that are wilting the leaves. Looking at the back of the leaf there is swelling along the spines. I've gone to one nursery in town ...
view the full question and answer

Treating cuts in tree trunks
November 21, 2009 - We have two young trees that deer made bad cuts in the trunks. What can we put on cuts to keep bugs and disease from getting in them.? Thank you.
view the full question and answer

Evergreen tree for Southern California coast
July 06, 2010 - I need a tree that is evergreen, non invasive roots that is not messy that can be kept at around 20 feet. We are at the edge of the thermal layer from the ocean. Thanks.
view the full question and answer

Support the Wildflower Center by Donating Online or Becoming a Member today.